Throughout life, we each have to look in the mirror and come to terms with what we choose to do with (and in) our lives—past, present, and future.
No one has a goal of looking in the mirror—at any point—and saying to the reflection staring back at them, “I sure do love the awful consequences I’m experiencing because of my choices…I am so thrilled with the pain my choices have brought upon my loved ones and myself…I am so glad I wasted life, valuable life lessons, and life’s opportunities!”
Nobody in their right mind would say or want these things.
Did you know that many of the regrets and guilt we face in life can be prevented…that we have a powerful opportunity each and every day to purposely create life questions that can bless our life choices?
Everybody will go through multiple grief experiences and hardships, some even self-inflicted, throughout their lifetime.
Some grief experiences are natural to go through in life, while others are due to foolish or uneducated decisions.
Some people were gravely warned by others to not make the choices they made; others had no training in life and genuinely had no one to care about their life choices. Some knew better; others truly didn’t.
Just because someone has made poor choices doesn’t mean they’re disposable, and it doesn’t mean they are doomed to have a terrible life. I think when people make poor choices, that’s when they need love and wise encouragement the most! It also is the perfect time to improve one’s life!
Everybody has a unique opportunity each morning: they have the amazing ability to push the reset button on their life so they can start making the best decisions they can possibly make from this day forward.
As a grief specialist, I hear story after story after story of hardships people go through…stemming from “life” happenings, as well as their own choices, and also the decisions of others. I constantly try to help each person find the genuine healing they so desperately need. Once they find out how to create a better life—a life they can truly enjoy living—their entire existence transforms.
Changing one’s life for the better is a process of asking one’s self the right questions so they can begin to make good decisions in response to those questions. Just like grief is never a cookie cutter experience, life is never a one-size-fits-all experience either. Each person’s life is as unique as they are.
Making solid decisions takes practice and a lot of cultivating, growth and nurturing of one’s heart and thoughts. All change initially begins as a solid decision…and then blossoms into a series of good, solid choices that continually need to be chosen on an ongoing basis. After awhile, the good choices develop into better choices, and then the better choices turn into the best choices.
Remember: this is your personal life journey between you and God. Each question will reveal a highly personal, customized answer.
Here are some of my favorite questions I ask myself so I can make wise decisions, learn more each day, and continue to make the best choices possible everyday:
•What can I do today to purposely grow my relationships with God and my family so these relationships are the strongest and healthiest they can be?
•What can I purposely do, or not do, so I don’t waste my day or waste my time?
•What do I need to prevent doing today so I can grow more and live life to the fullest?
•Who can I show mercy and compassion to today? Who do I need to show empathy for by seeing life through their eyes? (For ideas: https://griefbites.com/2014/10/18/7-things-to-realize-about-someone-going-through-a-hard-time/ )
•What one dream or goal can I work toward (or continue to work toward) today?…also, who can I help to be successful?
•What one purpose filled action today would make me live life as lovingly and vibrantly as possible?
•What one choice today would bring me the most healing—spiritually, emotionally, and physically? How can I purposely grow through my current and past grief or life challenges?
•What one thought today could override as much negativity as possible?
•Who can I choose to bless today in a way that would make the greatest difference in their life?
•What one foolish habit or sin can I purpose to avoid and overcome today to bring the most spiritual, mental, emotional, or physical wellness to me and my loved ones?
•What one person do I need to forgive today to lighten my heart? (Read this if you have been deeply wounded: https://griefbites.com/2015/04/20/wounded-7-steps-to-free-your-soul/ ) What one person do I need to apologize to and ask to forgive me?
•What topic or situation do I need to give to God and come into peace about today…what do I need to make right, cultivate, “let go” of, or remove to have optimal peace and joy? What do I need to change or accept so I can have peace?
•What one piece of wise advice can I take to heart today that has the capacity to change my life for the better? (This can be either past advice or more recent advice)
•What one improvement (big or baby step) can I make today that I can be proud of?
•After deeply thinking about my everyday and longterm choices, and truly considering the present and future impact of those choices—as well as the consequences or blessings that can/will come into my life from my decisions—what do I need to do, or not do, today to prevent any future guilt or regrets?
•Who needs to hear me say, “I love you!” today? How can I love others better today than I did yesterday?
•Who can I show genuine appreciation to today? Who needs to hear me say, “Thank you!”?
•What one regret do I need to forgive myself for and let go of today? (Read here to find help for regrets: https://griefbites.com/2014/10/26/overcoming-regrets/ )
•What one topic will be the most beneficial to pray, journal, or blog about today?
•What one physical and/or mental exercise will offer the most stress reduction today?
•What one character quality can I learn about, develop, and work on today? (I focus on one character quality exclusively each week and seek to continually improve each quality thereafter…you can find ideas here: https://griefbites.com/2014/07/01/conflict-resolution-pt-3-75-character-qualities-that-can-change-your-life/ )
•How can I best love, serve, and delight in God today? How can I grow my friendship with Him? He’s the ONLY relationship on earth that we can NEVER lose…this is SO important! ( Please feel free to read this for encouragement: https://griefbites.com/2015/12/04/delighting-in-god/ )
All of these questions are for the purpose of creating the best life possible—even in spite of grief—and preventing future guilt and regrets. Each question has the powerful ability to better one’s life and to offer encouragement to live well.
What questions stuck out most to you? What resonated with you the most?
You can ask yourself one of these questions each day or all of them. It is so important to grow spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and in wellness every single day. Whether you take baby steps or an “all in” approach, it is always wise to continually better yourself and allow God to work mightily in your heart!
Why not make a list of your own questions to ask yourself and commit to growth every single day? What does life look like for you today? By making changes, choosing to change your thoughts for the better, or cultivating your heart, what can life look like for you in 1 month…1 year…5 years…10 years…or even 30 or more years?
We all have such phenomenal value and I think we sometimes forget or fail to fully realize that. We also forget to realize how powerfully God can use our lives to make a difference in our loved ones lives, as well as in the world!
Wishing everybody special times of self-reflection, making wise choices and changes, preventing regrets, and living life to the fullest!
Gratitude and many blessings,
©2016 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.
If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!❤️
For more encouragement:
Making peace: http://peacewithgod.net
Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com
Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief
Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/getting-your-breath-back-after-life-knocks-it-out-of-you-kbh-niles/1112403330?ean=9781449725617
FREE YouVersion reading plans:
1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships
2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed
3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites
4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays